This year already is one of my favs. Not only did I get the chance to head back to one of my fav cities, the gorgeous La La Land (LA) but I also got the opportunity to road trip to Joshua Tree!!
Joshua Tree has been high on my list of travel destinations for a looong time. I would drive Sameer insane shoving my laptop in his face to show him different Airbnb locations. I even created a Pinterest board full of the desert land images that I would send him on the daily. Well finally he got the hint, haha, and surprised me with a trip to good ol Joshua.
With a road trip of 2hrs and 25 short minutes, if you get the chance to go for a drive I highly recommend it. But still set off relatively early because I’m going to share some places you must visit along the way.
Yum Yum Donuts
1431 E 4th St Ontario, CA 91764 United States
We ended up at Yum Yum totally NOT on purpose. What had happened was about 45mins into our trip my brother started to get a nose bleed, we pulled off at a gas station to clean up and while my brother (poor guy) was bleeding out I got distracted by the sugary scents coming from Yum Yum across the way. I know what your thinking, what an awful sister, but hey everyone was happy when they had a delicious donut in their mouths.
In N Out
It wouldn’t be a road trip without getting In N Out at least once. Even though we had stuffed our faces with sprinkles and icing, it’s pretty hard to drive past an In N Out without wanting to grab something, so that’s exactly what we did. Located pretty much EVERYWHERE drive through or dine in and try some of their delicious menu items… Ooo did you know they have a secret menu?? Try the animal fries, you can thank me later.
50800 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA 92230
Who doesn’t like a giant plastic dinosaur?! Ok granted we didn’t stay here all that long or even go into the park, but with it being less than 2 minutes off the highway it was a great place to pull over, take some pics and make a couple of funny Instastories.
268 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
A great place to pull over for a walk, some food and a cocktail or two. The strip is full of charming and tacky shops… you can buy a designer bag or a pair of novelty penis sunglasses, whatever floats your boat… no judgement here! Another thing Palm Springs has is some of the most amazing hotels, like the Ace Hotel…. ugggghhh drool!
Lulu California Bistro
200 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Palm Springs has so many amazing restaurants like Cheeky’s and Norma’s but with something quick and cheap dining and cocktails on our mind we ended up at Lulu’s. Boy was this place popular, literally a line up out the door. We quickly realized what the buzz was all about when we sat down, they were offering 3 courses for $19.99 and $5 mimosas/champagne with 3 free refills! Although the food was mediocre we left happy.
I wish I had an address for this location, but you will have to take my super bad directions and try figure it out lol. When you head out of Palm Springs towards the highway you will start passing the Windmills again, they will be on your left… before you get to the highway the road forks, pull to the left and pull over. Here you can stop, get out, run around, take your top off like my brother and his friend did and create some magical memories.
Here you have reached your final destination. YAY! Now it’s where to stay. There are so many incredible Airbnb’s to choose from but may I recommend mine. Nestled on a suburban street approx 5 min drive outside of the pearly Joshua Tree National Park gates, is your Pinterest dream. The couple who own this home, Amanda and Nate, are the coolest people you will ever see. With their baby girl they travel around in their 1972 Chevy RV and document their adventures to their gorgeous Instagram page @theimaginative, a couple after my own heart. Their home is gorgeous, with concrete floors, boho vibes and the radest green couch in the world (I wanted to take it but it didn’t fit in my suitcase), you will NEVER want to leave. Since leaving I have been actively stalking their hashtag #slowdownclubJT and seen some familiar faces enjoying it too.
You can book your stay here: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/22214605?s=51
Now your here it’s time to go exploring, get a little dirty but most importantly have some FUN! Here are some tips to create the most magical Joshua Tree experience.
Joshua Tree National Park
- Basic pass per vehicle costs $25 and lasts for 3 days. I recommend getting this as soon as you arrive, and enjoy a sunset in the park for your first night.
- Arrive early, there is so much to do. We didn’t have a chance to see it all, but my fav place was Jumbo Rocks… we spent hours climbing and jumping and even got up to the top of the biggest rock to eat our lunch. Just be sure to take your trash with you, we were very disappointed by the huge amount of junk that was left behind.
- Watch a sunset at Keys View. It takes a while to get there, about 30 mins but it is well worth it. When you get there park and keep walking, past all the amazing views to the very top… there you will already see a bunch of people who have claimed their seats to watch the sun go down. It’s a pretty spectacular way to end your day.
- Capture a shot of the stars. This is all Sameer wanted to do during our trip, and unfortunately for him it was just way to cloudy for it to happen. But on a clear night here you can take some of the most amazing images… just be sure there is no surrounding ambient light.
What to do
- I highly recommend grabbing a lunch at Natural Sisters Cafe. All of their food is locally sourced and organic. They offer a delicious variety of foods including vegan and gluten free options.
- Pioneertown, has been the set to many old western movies and shows. Created in 1946 the use of it in Hollywood may not be so much in demand anymore but its charm still lingers. We had such a fun time here, pretending to be kids and running around like loonies.
- If you fancy a desert night on the town check out Pappy and Harriet’s. Located in Pioneertown this surprisingly big and bustling saloon is the place to be. With great food, drinks and live bands it’s always a good time. But be sure to make a reservation or you won’t get a table… this place is that popular. Make your reservation here 760-365-5956.
Whatever is bringing you to Joshua Tree, it is a magical place and your sure to have a great time.